Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Cat For a Day

As you know, I had been dealing with emotional up's and down's as the honeymoon phase with the beautiful Netherlands wears off.  There have been instances in my life when I experienced mood swings or bouts of insecurity, but I never felt the need for anything extra to help me cope.  No, I will never be dependant on anything else to make me happy because I am a happy person and will fight my way through any circumstance life my throw at me, although I would consider a natural element proven to calm the distressed soul and smooth the moods: a cat.  I'd grown up with cats and loved them until we'd lived in a trailer park overrun with senior citizens and their armies of unkept cats.  The experience left me disgusted at the thought of ever owning a cat but, as fate would have it, something recently happened which made me reconsider the possibility.

Vacation was over, the man was back in work, the kids were back in school, and I was settling back into my routine days.  We were preparing for bed and, as I am always the first one done with the evening hygiene routines (my man can take longer than a teenage girl in the bathroom) I lingered next to the bedroom window for some brief reflections while looking out into the dark backyards before tucking under the covers.  While I was observing the quiet neighborhood I heard the tiny cry of a kitten and I thought to myself that one of the neighbors must have gotten a new kitten while we were away.  I waited to hear the response of the happy owners back door opening to let the little thing in but it never came.  The kitten continued to cry and I couldn't shake the feeling that the cry was coming from our own backyard.  So strongly did this haunting me that I snuck downstairs, peeked my head out the door and gave a quiet "here kitty, kitty, kitty" call.  After no response I shook my head and returned to warm the covers, but was awoken early the next morning with the same small cry.  I do not pull myself out from under those warm covers easily, but for this little cry I did.  Again I peeked out the window and saw nothing.                                                                                                                  

The morning progressed as normal.  My man ate and ran out the backdoor to hop on his bike for a long ride to work.  My children ate and I rushed them out the door to get into their classes on time.  I returned and loaded my littlest onto the bike and off we went to stock up on the daily groceries.  Upon return I again heard that small cry.  I was sure it was only wishful thinking that the kitten was in my own yard and continued to unload the groceries, again waiting to hear the kittens owners respond with the opening of a backdoor.  There was no response and I couldn't ignore the cry any longer.  I started digging through the jungle of a backyard garden that we have and grew increasingly certain that the kitten was indeed somewhere in my very own yard.  The bushes were thick and I had a hard time digging through them, but deep in the center of the thickest growth was a beautiful and terrified kitten.  Once the way was opened for him he bolted into our home via the open backdoor. 

This kitten received all the sympathy any abandoned kitten could have wished for.  He got pampered and loved and fed and naturally made himself at home.  He was a smart cat and responded to "nee" (no) and loved to snuggle.  I knew I couldn't get too attached because we might find his owner, but he really was a great cat.  We got our neighbors involved in the search for his owners and at the sight of him even they wanted to keep him.  The kids knocked on doors to no avail.  The kitten would stay with us until we were sure it's owners wanted him back.  Or until the master of the house returned from work . . .

He has many allergies, one of them being cats.  When he had his allergies tested the cat allergy did not show up as one of his most severe, but he got shots for the allergy along with the rest just so he could enter a friends house who owned cats without going into fits of sneezing.  He's been off the shot treatments since we moved to the Netherlands and we have not had a chance to see if they've stuck, but we've always resigned ourselves to the fact that we'll be a household which will never have a cat.  This was again confirmed when he walked through the door, witnessed a kitten in our house, sneezed, and tossed it out the door into the rain.  I had promised my neighbor that I would be a proper caregiver of the cat, more specifically, I would not put the kitten out into the predicted evening rain.  I begged my man not to leave the kitten out in the cold rain and he proceeded to accuse me of always getting my way in any argument, which immediately turned a little cat spat into a full blown argument. 

While were were bickering about anything within the range of "will we ever be able to have a cat" to "why can't we pull the poor kitten out of the rain" my neighbor heard the pitiful cries of the rain-soaked kitten and took him in herself.  They debated themselves whether or not to could keep the perfectly cute little kitten until a call was made to their own man of the house who knew of a neighbor who recently had a litter of kittens.  She took the drenched kitten to this house where a man opened the door, unfeelingly admitted to be the owner of said cat and took him back.  She reported to me later that she felt bad giving the poor kitten back to such a house which didn't even seem concerned at the loss of him.

Cat Door

To be continued . . .

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